Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 22

Thread: Is Taiwanese Koa the same as Hawaiian Koa? Please help, looking to buy a new Uke

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    1

    Default Is Taiwanese Koa the same as Hawaiian Koa? Please help, looking to buy a new Uke

    Does anybody have an informed opinion about sound quality of Taiwanese Koa VS Hawaiian Koa? I am looking to buy a new tenor Uke but can't afford a custom made one with crazy curly Koa from Hawaii... obviously my first choice, BUT please, why is a tiny instrument so expensive? I've been looking at some beauties ffrom 1,500$ to 7000& or more. So I thought I might get the next best thing which is an affordable instrument from a Taiwanese manufacturer. What do you guys think? Any help would be appreciated. I am looking for a tenor Uke from Koa, just to get a nice authentic sound and that raspy ring in the sound. Thanks!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Florida Space Coast
    Posts
    11,954

    Default

    Taiwanese Koa is an oxymoron. Koa is a variety of acacia that only grows in Hawaii, On the plus side, I have seen some acacia that rivals some pretty fancy looking koa. As far as sound, I have a KPK concert solid acacia uke that sounds like a way more expensive koa uke with that woody, ringing bark you are looking for. Can't speak to the one you are considering. Wondering if they have a liberal return policy?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Can you provide some information regarding which Taiwanese manufacturer and/or model that you are considering?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Toronto , Canada
    Posts
    2,265

    Default

    Taiwanese Koa is actually Acacia . Cousin of the Hawaii Koa. It does not sound the same. It is much richer and deeper tone and is much heavier in weight too. I own both so I know the difference in sound and weight. They are definitely not the same in look, sound and weight.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Central Ohio
    Posts
    1,284

    Default

    Acacia can make a nice uke, nothing wrong with it per se. Pono and KPK are examples of inexpensive uke builders who use acacia, but not Acacia koa. Like spruce. There's Picea rubens (red or Adirondack spruce) and Picea engelmannii (Engelmann spruce); both are used in instruments but they're not the same.
    Laura

    Haʻina ʻia mai ana ka puana

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Florida Space Coast
    Posts
    11,954

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SoloRule View Post
    Taiwanese Koa is actually Acacia . Cousin of the Hawaii Koa. It does not sound the same. It is much richer and deeper tone and is much heavier in weight too. I own both so I know the difference in sound and weight. They are definitely not the same in look, sound and weight.
    There are several varieties of acacia, koa being one of them. They do not all look the same. Some "definitely look the same" as koa, some do not. Climate differences notwithstanding, if cut to equal thickness and with similar construction, they can "definitely" sound like koa and are no heavier. I too have several examples of both and have seen and played dozens more. As always, things vary from uke to uke and there are always exceptions based on factors known and unknown.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Saint Andrews Bay, FL
    Posts
    3,874

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Koalover View Post
    Does anybody have an informed opinion about sound quality of Taiwanese Koa VS Hawaiian Koa? I am looking to buy a new tenor Uke but can't afford a custom made one with crazy curly Koa from Hawaii... obviously my first choice, BUT please, why is a tiny instrument so expensive? I've been looking at some beauties ffrom 1,500$ to 7000& or more. So I thought I might get the next best thing which is an affordable instrument from a Taiwanese manufacturer. What do you guys think? Any help would be appreciated. I am looking for a tenor Uke from Koa, just to get a nice authentic sound and that raspy ring in the sound. Thanks!!!
    you can buy a very nice HI koa uke for a lot less than 1.5-7k, especially on the used market.
    there is no substitute for LOVE

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    2,103

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by strumsilly View Post
    you can buy a very nice HI koa uke for a lot less than 1.5-7k, especially on the used market.
    Good point. I just did a quick eBay search and found several K brands for less than $1,200, so I don't know where you got that 1.5-7k figure.
    PLAYERS: Martin C1K • Enya Nova U concert (BLUE!) • Ohana CK-50WG concert (solid cedar top) • Ohana SK-28 ‘Nunes’ • Flea koa soprano • Ohana SK-35G solid mahogany soprano <yay!!> • Famous FS-1 <yippee!!> • Firefly maple concert banjolele <yee-haw!> • Makala MK-CE concert
    LOOKERS: • Vintage 'Mauna Loa' c. 1925 soprano • Kahuna "Felix the Cat" soprano • Woodrow "Steelers" soprano <eyeroll>


    Raleigh Uke Jam:

    My YouTube page

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Florida Space Coast
    Posts
    11,954

    Default

    I run across several different koa K ukes weekly for the $700 to $900 price range depending on size, some less if you want to do a little work on them.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Posts
    8,390

    Default

    This thread is in the wrong place, I stumbled on it by accident. Very informative!
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •